Autogynephilia and Anti-Transgender Activism

  • The theory paints the majority of trans women as “heterosexual men,” thereby enabling misgendering, plus providing justification for efforts by some trans-exclusionary “LGB” splinter groups to severe ties with the trans community (based on the premise that trans people are predominantly “straight”).
  • The specter of “heterosexual men with a sexual fetish/paraphilia” plays into anti-trans campaigns that attempt to conflate trans women with “sexual predators,” and which claim that trans-inclusive policies represent a potential threat to women and children (despite all evidence to the contrary).
  • Because autogynephilia theory (or certain renditions of it) caricature trans women as being “perpetually aroused” by wearing women’s clothing, some anti-trans activists have likened being in the mere presence of a trans woman (such as a co-worker) to being nonconsensually roped into that person’s presumed sexual endeavors. This, of course, reinforces the aforementioned “sexual predator” trope.
  • Some anti-trans activists have used autogynephilia theory to discourage gender-affirmative approaches for assigned-male-at-birth (AMAB) adolescents and teenagers under the presumption that they must be merely “autogynephilic” rather than authentically transgender.
  • Other anti-trans activists claim that gender-affirmative approaches to gender-diverse children are being promoted “to serve the political interests of autogynephilic adult males.”
  • Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters, by Abigail Shrier
  • Trans: When Ideology Meets Reality, by Helen Joyce
  • Material Girls: Why Reality Matters for Feminism, by Kathleen Stock
  • The End of Gender: Debunking the Myths about Sex and Identity in Our Society, by Debra Soh
  • When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment, by Ryan T. Anderson
  • Gender Hurts: A Feminist Analysis of the Politics of Transgenderism, by Sheila Jeffreys



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Julia Serano

Julia Serano

writes about gender, sexuality, social justice, & science. author of Whipping Girl, Excluded, 99 Erics, & her latest: SEXED UP! more at